Well, I am shocked. I remember vividly the time when the ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys was banged up for 19 offences which involved spiking glasses of Champagne with drugs and then sexually assaulting the victims. Once he was imprisoned, police discovered that the suspected number of victims was circa 100. After a mere 10 years Worboys is free. How can that be?
I am not an expert regarding the parole board but I do admit bewilderment at discovering that they were recommending Worboys’ release from custody. Today we find that the recommendation has been accepted. They insist that there will be strict conditions applying to his release. He will have to report to a probation officer every week and he will not be allowed to contact any of his victims. Phew! That’s all right then. They have plainly concluded that this odious individual is no longer a risk. Do we believe this?
I don’t know if he remains a risk but consider this. If there were some 100 victims, does this not suggest that Worboys is a highly manipulative character? Why, then, are we expected to believe that after a decade in custody he is a changed man? We are expected to believe it because three so called experts have said so. Where Worboys managed to deceive many scores of women, he made no attempt to deceive probation officials? Hmm. We know that prisons are overcrowded, that there is a growing backlog of prisoners who were staying in prison longer than the minimum terms imposed on their initial sentences. Someone please convince me that these matters played no part in his release?
A former solicitor called Malcolm Fowler said that Worboys would be “anything but free” after his release, but that is not the point. No matter how many curfews are imposed, tags applied and court orders imposed, he is far more free than he has any right to be. And the short sentence he received compares badly with his victims who will carry their trauma to their death beds.
Someone – I can’t remember who. It may have been Peter Cook – said that “justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be believed”. No one can surely believe justice was done today when one of our worst and notorious criminals was given his life back after such a short sentence when the victims are still suffering through the rest of theirs.